Marisol’s Magic Mirror Trip
By Valerie L. Egar
Marisol knew she had curly chestnut hair, blue eyes and dimples. These weren’t likely to change, so she didn’t look in the mirror every time she walked by. She could find her face and wash it without a mirror’s help. She even fixed her hair without a mirror. A quick shake of her head and her short curly hair fell into place perfectly. Marisol didn’t care much about mirrors, until she saw the Venetian glass mirror in Aunt Lucy’s house.
“This is where you’ll sleep,” Aunt Lucy said, opening the door to a large room. A large antique bed with a lacy canopy and embroidered coverlet looked soft and inviting. Marisol sat on the bed to test it and saw the mirror on the wall across from the bed. Small mirrors, in the shapes of scrolls and shields, surrounded a large oval mirror. Sunlight danced on the glass and the room sparkled. Marisol took a closer look.
She saw the mirror was old— silver had worn off a few tiny spots. Each small mirror was etched with flowers and vines and glowed like small jewels.
“You like the mirror,” said Aunt Lucy.
“Your Great Uncle Julius bought it in an antique shop in Venice many years ago. The shopkeeper told him it was from a palazzo.”
“More like a big house. A mansion.”
“How old is it?”
Aunt Lucy shrugged. “Three hundred years? Something like that.”
That night, instead of going to sleep Marisol sat in bed and stared at the mirror. Moonlight shone through the window and instead of throwing sparkles like the sunlight, it made a silver path into the mirror. Marisol followed the path and found herself floating like a feather in the wind.
She landed with a thump next to a wide canal and noticed men standing at the back of narrow boats, guiding them through the canal. “I think those are gondolas,” thought Marisol. “I must be in Venice.” She looked around.
People lined up, waiting for a gondola. They appeared to be dressed for a costume party. The women wore old-fashioned long silk dresses trimmed with jewels. The men wore colorful brocade jackets with fancy shirts trimmed with lace and fitted dark pants. Everybody wore masks.
Marisol realized she must look out of place in her blue pajamas, and looked at her clothes. She was wearing a sea green silk gown, trimmed with gold. She also wore a mask. She stood in line with the others.
A young man said something to her in Italian. She shook her head. “I don’t understand.”
“Ah, you are British,” he said.
“What is American?” he asked. “You are from the colony so far away?”
Marisol looked around again. She realized there were no electric lights in any building. Here and there, a lantern burned. In the distance, someone carried a torch. No motors hummed. No TVs blared.
“What year is it?”
The man laughed. “1706.” He helped Marisol into a gondola. “Tonight you will enjoy the finest party of the year at Palazzo Leoni. You will see a special marvel the Doge unveils tonight.”
Music filled the air from the palazzo’s open windows as Marisol stepped from the gondola. Violins played a lively tune. The ballroom was lit with hundreds of candles in silver candelabras and chandeliers. People danced. Marisol stood at the edge of the room and watched. She enjoyed the spectacle,
but she worried how she was going to get home. “I have to find the mirror,” she thought, suspecting it was close by.
The music stopped. A man stood at the front of the room. Next to him, a large oval was covered with fabric. He said something Marisol couldn’t understand and pulled the fabric off. The mirror! This was the marvel people had come to see.
Everyone clapped. “It is beautiful is it not?” the man who had helped Marisol into the gondola said. “You do not have such things in the colonies?”
“Not yet,” said Marisol.
She followed the candlelight’s gleam into the mirror and landed, thump! back into bed.
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Copyright 2018 by Valerie L. Egar. May not be copied or reproduced without permission from the author.
Published March 11, 2018 Journal Tribune Sunday (Biddeford, ME).